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ABA Report: Small Firms Need Cyber Liability Insurance

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The number of law firms with cyber liability insurance coverage has tripled in the last four years, and small firms are leading the surge.

In 2015, only 11 percent of firms with two to nine lawyers had cyber liability coverage, according to a recent American Bar Association survey. That percentage soared to 36 percent in 2018.

For firms with 10 to 49 attorneys, the increase was just as dramatic. In 2015, only 15 percent of those firms had cyber coverage. In 2018, the percentage was 47 percent.

Those are some of the takeaways from the first-ever ABA Profile of the Profession survey, which draws on a mountain of data to measure everything from “demographics to discipline, pay to pro bono.”

“This report is an important reference for anyone who wants to understand where the legal profession came from – and where it stands today,” writes ABA President Bob Carlson in the report’s introduction.

Some of the most interesting findings are in the area of cyber security and cyber insurance. The bottom line: cyber threats are steadily growing, and law firms are increasingly obtaining cyber insurance to protect themselves.

Download a pdf version of the ABA Profile of the Profession here.

Don’t have cyber liability insurance? Want to find the best coverage for your practice? Contact Alta Pro Insurance. Our cyber insurance products are designed to provide maximum protection for your firm. Learn more here.

Lawyers Whose Firm Has Ever Experienced a Data Breach

  • 2018: Solo firms (14 percent); 2-9 lawyers (24 percent); 10-49 lawyers (25 percent); 100-499 lawyers (31 percent); 500 or more (31 percent)
  • 2017: Solo firms (11 percent); 2-9 lawyers (27 percent); 10-49 lawyers (35 percent); 100-499 lawyers (17 percent); 500 or more (23 percent)
  • 2016: Solo firms (8 percent); 2-9 lawyers (11 percent); 10-49 lawyers (25 percent); 100-499 lawyers (16 percent); 500 or more (26 percent)
  • 2015: Solo firms (11 percent); 2-9 lawyers (16 percent); 10-49 lawyers (14 percent); 100-499 lawyers (23 percent); 500 or more (23 percent)

Law Firms with Cyber Liability Insurance

  • 2018: Solo firms (27 percent); 2-9 lawyers (36 percent); 10-49 lawyers (47 percent); 100-499 lawyers (38 percent); 500 or more (31 percent)
  • 2017: Solo firms (19 percent); 2-9 lawyers (27 percent); 10-49 lawyers (35 percent); 100-499 lawyers (34 percent); 500 or more (27 percent)
  • 2016: Solo firms (16 percent); 2-9 lawyers (17 percent); 10-49 lawyers (22 percent); 100-499 lawyers (20 percent); 500 or more (14 percent)
  • 2015: Solo firms (10 percent); 2-9 lawyers (11 percent); 10-49 lawyers (15 percent); 100-499 lawyers (11 percent); 500 or more (13 percent)

Methods Law Firms Use to Back Up Computer Files (2018)

  • External hard drive 38 percent
  • Offsite 30 percent
  • Online 29 percent
  • Network attached storage 15 percent
  • USB 9 percent
  • RAID 7 percent
  • Tape 7 percent

Where Lawyers Start a Research Project (2018)

  • General search engine or directory 37 percent
  • Fee based online resource 31 percent
  • State Bar sponsored free legal research 11 percent
  • Print materials 6 percent
  • Firm resources 5 percent
  • Legal-specific search engine or directory 5 percent
  • Government website 4 percent

If you have professional liability coverage through Alta Pro Insurance, you’re invited to attend free CLE webinars on social engineering and phishing scams. Stay tuned for more details. This is just one of the many benefits from being a part of the Alta Pro family. Here’s how to join.

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